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Since we've been home from KKI and our trip to Baltimore and back, Kaydence Grace has decided to declare a food war on mom. Now, if you can think about how picky some kids are in their eating, then multiply that by infinity, that's Kaydence Grace. Before we left, she was eating a full bowl of oatmeal each morning, maybe something for lunch like a sweet potato, and then her traditional banana and peanut butter at night, all interspersed with pediasure for the extra vitamins and calories.

Now, I am lucky to get her to eat half a bowl of oatmeal and a half of a banana and PB, but she wants that pediasure ALL the time. She is probably actually taking in more calories, but I need her to take in solid foods and not liquids. I wish she and I could switch food intake patterns for a while and we would each be happy - I could lose a little weight and she would gain enough to make her fill out some pants that match the length of her legs. I do not know why we are fighting this battle, but as I mentioned in a Facebook status last week, I would sure like KKI to call us up sooner than they thought. We need some help, and I'm tired of the fight. Meal times are exhausting!

However, Kaydence Grace did something today she has never done before. {Cue drumroll} Today, she played with baby dolls. Yes. Baby dolls. My mom and I just sat and smiled and watched her. Last summer, I worked hard to teach her to love baby dolls and to hug them and kiss them. She would do it once just to get me to leave her alone. This year at daycare, she was exposed to more babies than ever before, and when I hold babies, she smiles. I can't get too close because she also tries to hug them by putting them in an unsafe headlock, but we are working on that. I guess with all of that, she has found an expression for loving the dolls. /She peeked in the baby carriage and looked at them and took them out. She leaned over and kissed them. She smiled and lightly touched them. Then she picked them up and hurled them across the room. Hey, what can I say? She is a work in progress!

I won't go on and on about our other family milestone, because most who follow this have already seen the onslaught of pictures, but of course it was nice to see my husband and son lead the July 4th parade this year. Nineteen years ago, Tommy and his dad led the parade with his late brother's horse I guess for the last time until now. Leading the parade was quite the Neyland Boys tradition, until Wes died. It was a very bittersweet moment for us, but God's timing is impeccable, we just have to trust it. There is something to be said for small town celebrations, and I surely think there in no other place in the U.S.A. that I would rather be on Independence Day. Now I need to figure out which picture I am going to blow up to poster size like the rest of the years the Neyland Boys led the parade. Think I'm kidding? Seriously, posters. The Neyland Women did not document things in small ways. Everything is always big.

Between creating memories and food fighting, I have also put in some long hours creating decorated apparel. I have always, always wanted to make boutique-style outfits for kids, and it turns out that people really love personalized apparel. So, I make it. If you ask my kids what does your mom do or what does your mom enjoy, they will answer with, "She makes shirts." I have also dabbled recently in retail sales, but that part...that part is a little harder to get rolling. I'll keep trying though, because it is something I enjoy. We shall see where God takes us in this little business, because I put it in His hands. I have learned the hard way to just put it all in His hands. He will make it become what it will be. He will lead me wherever He wants me to be and wherever I can bring someone else to know Him. I truly hope that through my actions, someone else will see God's love. Kind of like how Kaydence is finally picking up on loving baby dolls. You have to show it for someone else to figure it out. Be the reflection, because as a song I used to sing at church says, you're the only Jesus some will ever see and you're the only Words of Life some will ever read, so let them see in you the One in who is all they'll ever need. Think on that, and live it.


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